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71 out of 97 people found the following review useful:

The Big One!

9/10
Author: Gooper from WA State USA
29 December 2003

It is a great pleasure to see so many comments here that are enthusiastic about 'Quo Vadis'. I just saw it again last night after about 15 years, and I marvelled at what a high quality spectacle it is - better than ever, in fact.

In his autobiography, 'Take One', Mervyn LeRoy has some great stories about 'Quo Vadis'. Such as: while filming one of the really big crowd scenes, a voice pipes up from the extras: 'Hey Moy-vin!', and it's Jack Benny. And in a scene right out of one of his pictures, when 'Quo Vadis' is screened in San Francisco, and LeRoy is present, the theatre happens to be right near the corner where the big-time director once sold papers as a kid. He revisits the corner after the screening and sheds a few tears. LeRoy was an extra in C.B. DeMille's first 'Ten Commandments', so the desire to deliver something DeMillian was realized at last, and with smashing success.

We all agree on Peter Ustinov's ingenious performance, so all I need to add is that in his own autobiography, 'Dear Me', Sir Peter's recollections of the filming are as wonderful as his performance.

Whatever his capabilities as an actor, I always thought that Bob Taylor's performance was pretty darn good, and appropriate, too: what high-ranking Roman officer wouldn't be pompous? In any case, the story is much larger than Marcus' character, and the story comes to dominate the picture.

It is indeed a pity that the excellent Rozsa score wasn't handled by the Warners sound department, where it would have been been presented to full effect Much of its impact is squandered by its being kept in the background. I don't think Merv LeRoy had so much to do with this decision, as his alma mater was Warners (try watching 'Anthony Adverse'!) It seems that it was probably MGM policy. With sensitivity, a DVD version could perhaps offer the picture with a 'sweetened' soundtrack.

The quality of the camera work by solid professionals Bob Surtees (later MGM's UltraPanavision 70 specialist) and Wm V. Skall (his work on 'The Silver Chalice' was outstanding) really cannot be overstated.

Along with the delights of Sir Peter's performance, I still get choked up when noble Buddy Baer takes on that bull, and when Marina Berti's character displays so much love and devotion to Leo Genn's. Genn is right up there with James Mason in quality, and indeed, Mason may have taken a few pointers from Genn's performance for his own acting in subsequent epics. Patricia Laffan is decadently sexy without being campy.

Trivia: scenes for the burning of Rome were sensibly used in MGM's 'The 7 Faces of Dr. Lao' and 'Atlantis, The Lost Continent' to great effect.

It is a credit to Merv LeRoy for allowing great actors like Peter Ustinov and Leo Genn to 'do their thing'.

'Quo Vadis' is a classic: a stunning spectacle, intelligent, good script, fine performances by practically everybody, and it remains long in the memory, and holds up well indeed.

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58 out of 75 people found the following review useful:

How we missed having the city of "Neropolis"

8/10
Author: theowinthrop from United States
3 December 2005

Henryk Sienkiewicz was one of Poland's great historical novelists, and one of the first recipients of the Nobel Prize for literature (1905). It has only been in the last decade or so that translations of other novels by him have appeared in English, but his major work, QUO VADIS?, has been known since it appeared over a century ago. It was a study of the early days of the Christians in Rome, and their first persecution by the Emperor Nero (54 - 68 A.D.) It concentrates on the burning of Rome and the persecution of the Christians (including the death by crucifixion of St. Peter). So the background is identical to Cecil B. DeMille's THE SIGN OF THE CROSS. Inevitably comparisons between the two films, their plots, and the performances of the two Neros (Charles Laughton and Peter Ustinov) result.

But the two stories are not the same. Sienkiewicz threw in far more of the history of the Rome of that period than the author of the play THE SIGN OF THE CROSS did. And because of his deeply felt commitment to his faith, Sienkiewicz showed the destruction of Nero's rotten regime and the first triumph of Christianity. THE SIGN OF THE CROSS does not do that - my comment there was that DeMille never made such a pessimistic and tragic film in his career, with all the good people being destroyed and Nero (at that time) triumphant. This does not happen in QUO VADIS, where the corruption and incompetence of the regime finally loses the support of the people (and ... ironically worse ... the army!).

There is also the addition of the leading poet-courtier of the day, Petronius Arbiter. A man of wit and taste, Petronius was one of several figures of literary note in Nero's court, and one of several to meet tragedy by being near that egomaniac. The others were led by Nero's original chief minister Seneca, the stoic philosopher and dramatist. Seneca's nephew Lucan was also a leading figure in the court. Both men were eventually turned into foes of the regime, especially as Seneca fell from his ministerial position after the murder of Nero's mother Agrippina. Petronius managed to avoid the political conflict that involved the other two, but the Emperor's irrational jealousy helped link the three. Lucan wrote a savage epic poem against the Imperial family (PHARSALIA) which signaled his rejection of the regime. Lucan joined a conspiracy against Nero led by a Senator named Piso. It was discovered, and Lucan and Seneca implicated. Both were forced to commit suicide (by opening their veins). Tigellinus, Nero's leading adviser, insinuated that Petronius was involved too (he wasn't). Petronius also committed suicide the same way, but wrote a witty and accurate denunciation to Nero which was given to the Emperor after the writer's death.

Petronius' major surviving work, THE SATYRICON, was a wonderful look at the rot at the center of the regime of Nero. It (by the way) was turned into a film by Fellini in the late 1960s.

Leo Genn brought Petronius and his delicate wit and taste out in the film, and merited the Oscar nomination he got for this - his best remembered role (aside from Dr. "Kick" in THE SNAKE PIT). Ustinov brings a degree of frailty to Nero - an uncertainty as to the acceptance of his public persona. He flails about between seeking the approval of the artists like Petronius and those who manipulate the tyrant in him (Poppeia and Tigellinus). Despite his vicious evil one sympathizes with him - he is a sick man. And his reconstruction program (he burns down old Rome to create "Neropolis") is on par to that of another tyrant of more recent vintage, who planned to build a world capital called "Germania" over Berlin's bones. He too left many bones, but it is hard to consider him at all sympathetic.

As spectacle and history QUO VADIS? is quite rewarding. It may telescope the events of 64 - 68 A.D. (when Nero committed suicide with assistance), and avoid the three brief Emperors who ruled after Nero within the year (Galba, Otho, and Vitellius) before Vespasian came back from the war in Israel to take the throne for a decade - but it does show how Nero's regime collapsed. DeMille never tackled it. But despite those two omissions the film does do the period pretty well.

Robert Taylor is more effective as a military commander / hero than Fredric March had been in SIGN OF THE CROSS. Deborah Kerr is more believable as an early Christian convert. And Finley Currie is wonderful as Simon Peter - who realizes that he must die for the Lord that he once denied. His end is based on a legend that Peter was crucified upside down, supposedly at his request that he did not deserve to be crucified in the same way as the Lord he briefly failed. Altogether a superior religious - historic epic.

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46 out of 57 people found the following review useful:

"Nothing do I see that is not perfection"

7/10
Author: jpdoherty from Ireland
1 May 2009

At Last one of the great classic Hollywood blockbuster epics of the early fifties has finally found its rightful DVD home with this exceptional two disc release from Warner Home Video.

Produced by Sam Zimbalist for MGM in 1951 and expertly directed by Mervin LeRoy "Quo Vadis" was Hollywood's first wallop in the fight against the onslaught of Television. Available at first, and for many years only on VHS tape, it then began to appear on a plethora of foreign DVDs but with varying quality it must be said. One such unfortunate issue, which originated in Korea, was released without any opening credits whatsoever! I kid you not! That said - we now thankfully have it in our possession and a superb issue it is! With perfect pristine colour resolution, Robert Surtees' Acadamy Award nominated colour Cinematography comes across with well defined and plush imagery. The various cast members are attired in the most gorgeously coloured costumes. Particularly dazzling is the golden uniform worn by the picture's star Robert Taylor as he proudly bears himself aboard his golden chariot during his triumphal parade through Rome.

Also here is Miklos Rozsa's outstanding Acadamy Award nominated score! His main Roman motif, bold and strong, dominates the scenes in the Forum and in the Arena. In gentler mode is his beautiful love theme for the scenes with the star-crossed lovers Marcus and Lygia. Then there's the frenetic bacchanal-like Hymn of the Vestal Virgins followed immediately by the robust and heroic Triumphal March. Also heard on this issue - and for the first time since the original roadshow release 56 years ago - is the composer's Overture and Exit music. The great Rozsa would barely eclipse his "Vadis" music eight years later with his Oscar winning score for "Ben Hur".

The assembled cast are uniformly excellent except, perhaps, the syrupy and simpering characterization of Deborah Kerr as Lygia. But Robert Taylor is fine in what is probably his best known role as Nero's legion commander Marcus Vinicus. Outstanding is Leo Genn as Petronious - the sardonic and sarcastic confidante of the tyrannical Emperor Nero. And of course there is the wonderful Peter Ustinov chewing up every bit of scenery there is as the crazed and loony Nero. Both Ustinov and Genn were nominated for Acadamy Awards. The picture is also buoyed by some colourful and elaborate set pieces such as the Vestal Virgins singing and wildly dancing in homage to the goddess Vesta, the spectacular triumphal parade of the Roman legions taking the salute from Nero as it passes the great palace, the exciting chariot chase, the brilliantly staged burning of Rome and the harrowing scenes in the Arena as the lions are released on the hapless hymn-singing Christians.

These scenes all come across extremely well on this excellent DVD which comes with a trailer, a splendid 45 minute featurette "Quo Vadis And The Genesis of the Biblical Epic" and a commentary by one F.X. Feeney who persists in calling the leading lady's character Leega instead of Lygia and neglects to tell us that the opening narration is spoken by MGM favourite Walter Pidgeon (uncredited). However this is only a minor quibble and does nothing to diminish the greatness of this issue. Bravo Warner Home Video!!

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49 out of 63 people found the following review useful:

Lives up to your expectations...Leo Genn and Peter Ustinov steal the acting honors...

Author: Neil Doyle from U.S.A.
11 May 2001

Ancient Rome never looked so good--especially in the gorgeous MGM technicolor of 1951. Costumes, sets, photography and music are all of a high order--and all of the performances are competent with two outstanding ones by Leo Genn (Petronius) and Peter Ustinov (Nero). Ustinov reminds me of an overbaked Charles Laughton in some of his mad scenes, but he is a convincing weakling as Nero. Leo Genn has some of the wittiest dialogue and handles his lines with professional ease, his eyes flashing with humor as he pretends to agree with Nero on certain points. Robert Taylor is stalwart in the lead giving his usual dependable performance and Deborah Kerr is lovely (if a bit British in manner) as Lygia.

All the action and excitement you want from a spectacle--the burning of Rome, Christians in the arena thrown to the lions, the triumphal marches accompanied by Miklos Rozsa's mighty score--and scenes with sentimental and religious overtones (sometimes too extended and talky) --all combine to make the kind of lush spectacle MGM knew would be popular at the box-office. Although discriminating critics found fault with certain factors, it won eight Academy Award nominations with Ustinov and Genn both nominated for supporting roles.

Grand scale spectacle--but don't expect anything deep.

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48 out of 68 people found the following review useful:

Most enjoyable three hours

Author: Mika Pykäläaho (bygis80@hotmail.com) from Järvenpää, Finland
28 April 2002

In my opinion Mervyn LeRoy's fantastic version of "Quo Vadis?" is definitely one of the very finest epics about Roman empire ever filmed. Fact that it didn't won a single Oscar was a shameful disgrace. Eight years later MGM released a movie that was supposed to be bigger, longer and better than "Quo Vadis?". It was of course "Ben-Hur", motion picture that collected record-breaking amount of Academy Awards and respect. Certainly it was a bigger and longer spectacle but I still like this one even more.

I find "Quo Vadis?" just somehow more entertaining and appealing. Sir Peter Ustinov's magnificent performance is just about half of the whole film. I loved his brilliant Oscar awarded supporting role in Stanley Kubrick's "Spartacus" and I have to say that he's just as irresistible as the insane Emperor Nero. It's one of the greatest roles of his career and just another proof that he really is a true genius among actors. I have no choice but to give "Quo Vadis?" 10 out of 10 and I guess I even have to end my review with a worn-out cliché: they don't make movies like this anymore.

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37 out of 54 people found the following review useful:

Whither Thou Goest

8/10
Author: bkoganbing from Buffalo, New York
2 December 2005

Quo Vadis, based on the late nineteenth century novel by Henryk Sienkiewicz, has been filmed many times in many lands for the cinema and for television. It was done as a Broadway play at the turn of the last century. But this is the version that most people remember and talk about.

It's also the first of the big budget sand and scandal epics that the movies made to try and compete with that little home entertainment machine that was popping up in more and more homes. MGM built the magnificent sets the film was done on and sent Robert Taylor, Deborah Kerr and the whole cast over to Italy to shoot it. Those sets later popped up in Ben-Hur, The Fall of the Roman Empire and dozens of Italian gladiator films. Supposedly somewhere in the cast of thousands both Elizabeth Taylor and Sophia Loren appeared as extras. Spot them if you can.

Another extra was Lia DiLeo and gossip about her and Robert Taylor led to the break up of the Robert Taylor-Barbara Stanwyck marriage.

The story is about Robert Taylor as Marcus Vinicius, Roman soldier and his lust then love for Christian girl Lygia played by Deborah Kerr. Their story is set against the background of the early Christian church in Rome and the persecution of it by the Emperor Nero.

Taylor and Kerr are fine in the leads, but in this case the supporting cast really overshadowed the stars. Peter Ustinov as Nero and Leo Genn as Petronius were both nominated for Best Supporting Actor of 1951, but lost to Karl Malden in Streetcar Named Desire.

Peter Ustinov got a once in a lifetime part as Nero. It's the kind of role that one can overact outrageously and still convey all the sinister impulses that this villain possessed. Ustinov was compared with Charles Laughton as Nero in The Sign of the Cross and I wouldn't dare say who was better.

My favorite part in this film has always been Leo Genn as Gaius Petronius. He's the only actor in the film who's holding his own with Ustinov. He's a pretty smart guy this Petronius, keeping his place at the court by flattery and guile. It's a bitter pill for him to swallow when after Nero burns Rome, the Rome he loves and has dedicated his life to. He could have prevented it by taking a righteous stand against the tyrant. But instead he played the cynic once too often and decides what he deems to be the only course of action open to him.

Finlay Currie is a strong and hearty, but aged St. Peter. My conception of St. Peter has always been that of Finlay Currie and in his youth that of Howard Keel in The Big Fisherman. Peter's a hands on kind of pastor used to hard work. After all he was a fisherman in his younger days and that certainly is outdoor work.

Whether people are confirmed Christians or not will depend on how they take this film. We all can certainly admire the spectacle and the talent of the players. And nobody questions the atrocities committed by Emperor Nero against the early Christians.

But at one point after Taylor realizes his love for Kerr, he makes what I consider a quite reasonable offer to allow her to continue in her faith and he'll even put up whatever kind of chapel on the house grounds for that purpose. Not so says Kerr, it's going to be all or nothing. That all or nothing attitude today has got a few people upset with organized religion for various reasons. But that's in the distant future from the First Century AD.

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31 out of 44 people found the following review useful:

The original novel and this cinema version of it are two very different kettles of fish!

Author: Greg Couture from Portland, Oregon
13 September 2003

A fellow IMDb-er from Poland, defending Henryk Sienkiewicz's monumental, Nobel Prize-winning novel (which I HAVE read, by the way) calls this M-G-M Technicolor spectacle "CRAP"!

Please! The novel is incredibly dense and detailed; possibly a lot truer to what was known in the early part of the twentieth century of the actual events of the time of its plot; with lots of references to the cruelty and luxury of Nero's Rome; frequent mentions of the pervasive nudity under all kinds of circumstances among the Romans of the time; and, given its length, a perhaps more respectful view of the emergence of Christianity at a time when its converts risked their very lives to admit their beliefs. There is no way that even a multi-part TV mini-(I mean, maxi-)series could come close to approximating the novel's overwhelming complexity.

But, as a piece of filmed entertainment, this cinema extravaganza is not at all worthy of being consigned to the proverbial garbage heap. The cast, yes, including Robert Taylor and Deborah Kerr, but, especially the supporting actors (Peter Ustinov, of course; plus Leo Genn, in particular, as well as Patricia Laffan, Marina Berti, Finlay Currie, Felix Aylmer, Rosalie Crutchley, et al.) all take full advantage of a script that had many witty as well as dramatic moments and, for its day, a fairly reverent (though not historically accurate) rendering of Christianity's emergence in a hostile Roman world.

In addition its production values have never been surpassed; in fact, they've never been equalled. One understands how beleaguered those of Polish descent often must feel (I, for one, have never been a fan of so-called "Polish jokes."), but let's not set impossible standards for a translation of one of Poland's most memorable literary achievements! This production is an example of Hollywood marshalling some impressive resources, while avoiding more than a modicum of the cliches that can sabotage such a project. It may not honor its source as some might wish, but it's still a quite grand and opulently eye-filling way to enjoy close to three hours.

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29 out of 41 people found the following review useful:

Big Budget Early Christian Epic is All Spectacle...

Author: Ben Burgraff (cariart) from Las Vegas, Nevada
17 November 2003

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

QUO VADIS?, loosely based on Henryk Sienkiewicz' massive novel, is probably the most all-encompassing early Christian saga to ever appear on screen. In one film, you have Paul of Tarsus (who, despite his importance to Christianity, has only rarely appeared in film); Simon Peter's last days, complete with his legendary upside-down crucifixion; the significance of the Catacombs, and the blame placed on Christians for the burning of Rome; and, of course, the infamous slaughter of Christians in the Coliseum, at the hands of the Roman Empire's best-known evil Emperor, Nero. At a time when television was making severe inroads into the motion picture industry, QUO VADIS? provided a massive spectacle that the small screen could not compete against, and the film rose to become the second biggest money-maker MGM had produced, at that point, behind GONE WITH THE WIND.

The tale is somewhat reminiscent of De Mille's SIGN OF THE CROSS, and revolves around Roman commander Marcus Vinicius (Robert Taylor, in the role that would revive his career, and make him the 'King' of 50s period epics), fresh from a successful campaign, who falls for beautiful Christian 'slave' Lygia (the fetching Deborah Kerr). Much to the sympathetic amusement of his uncle, Roman aristocrat Petronius (worldly Leo Genn), Lygia refuses to accept Vinicius' passes, and when the he becomes more persistent, he gets a bit roughed-up by her bodyguard/protector, brawny Ursus (the legendary Buddy Baer). Thoroughly confused, the soldier finds solace in the decadent court of the boy Emperor, Nero (Peter Ustinov, who is superb, stealing the film), but he feels empty, without Lygia to share in his triumph.

Nero, who is, by turns, petulant, cruel, and anxious to be accepted, is being held somewhat in check by Petronius' careful manipulations, but the more radical of his inner circle look for excuses to gain favor, with 'Christian bashing' a sure way to win his heart. The stench of Rome on a hot summer night provides him an inspiration; to burn much of it down, blame the Christians, then rebuild the city to his liking. Ignoring Petronius' protests (which marks the end of his influence, and, ultimately, his life), Nero carries out his plan, then takes many Christians prisoner (including Lygia), promising the irate citizens of Rome the gory spectacle of seeing justice done by lions.

While Vinicius hasn't accepted Christianity, yet, he does recognize injustice, and chooses to die with Lygia rather than live under a lunatic (a theme that would be repeated in THE ROBE). In a take-off of the Cretan Bull myth, Nero stages an elaborate entertainment; dressing the Christian girl in a nearly transparent gown (revealing far more of Ms. Kerr than she probably wished!), and tying her to a post, he releases an enraged giant bull, with only a barehanded Ursus to protect her. Realizing only a miracle can save the woman he loves, Vinicius prays to the Christian God for help...and the epic climactic battle begins...

MGM's first major production filmed in Rome, QUO VADIS? is a very entertaining film, which, while fast and loose historically, never ceases to impress with it's grandeur. While the 'human' side of the story isn't much (Taylor is, as always, a bit wooden, and Kerr hasn't much of a part to work with), the performance of Ustinov is simply fabulous, and, if you look quickly, you'll see Elizabeth Taylor and Sophia Loren (in her first American film), in unbilled bit parts.

This is another 'classic' which deserves to be on DVD...when MGM decides to take that step, add it to your collection; you won't be disappointed!

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34 out of 52 people found the following review useful:

Superb set and costume design. Ustinov outstanding.

10/10
Author: (allen_hahn@hotmail.com) from Washington, DC
15 February 2002

I first saw this film as a re-run in 1964--on the big screen. Much is lost, I think, when viewing it on television. Peter Ustinov's portrayal of the emperor Nero raises the bar for anyone else who is ever cast as an unbalanced and corrupt Roman emperor. Certainly, we don't see this style or quality of acting in newer films such as "Gladiator." I focus on the "Nero" character more than others because Ustinov was truly able to get inside the role, and appeared to stay very focused. Robert Taylor was fine in the movie, but his role could have been handled by nearly any leading man of the time. Ditto for Deborah Kerr. The remaining cast was very, very good. The set designs and costumes were sheer artistry and the score was effective and complimentary. I recommend this to anyone who is interested in spectacles and studying fine acting techniques (i.e., Ustinov's).

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20 out of 32 people found the following review useful:

Colossal and profound spectacle that indeed has its place in movie history!

9/10
Author: Marcin Kukuczka from Cieszyn, Poland
2 August 2006

The 1st century Roman Empire, the fire of Rome, early Christianity, martyrdom...this historical content was dealt with in many films before and after 1951. Yet, it is LeRoy's QUO VADIS most viewers associate with the infamous period of Roman history, the reign of Nero (A.D. 54-68). Why? There are, I think, several reasons. One is, definitely, the source, a Noble Prize winner novel by Henryk Sienkiewicz. The Polish writer, being an acknowledged historian, contained detailed historical facts and a vivid fictitious story in his novel. As a result, QUO VADIS is a universal masterpiece, absolutely worth reading for anyone. But, since the film, though an adaptation of the book, skips many events or even characters, we may treat Mervyn LeRoy's QUO VADIS as a separate Hollywood production. In this respect, the movie is also well known as a gigantic spectacle with great cast, lavish sets, crowds of extras, which constitutes a magnificent journey to ancient Rome, the Rome which was on the verge of becoming "Neropolis". Then, a viewer does not have to know the novel and will enjoy the film.

THE STORY: If we consider QUO VADIS? as an entertaining movie only (which is, of course, a limited view), then anyone more acquainted with cinema will find much in common with Cecil B DeMille's great epic THE SIGN OF THE CROSS (1932). Yet, comparison does not work that well concerning the perspective of QUO VADIS (1951). After deeper analysis of the films, a lot of differences occur. While DeMille's film based on Wilson Barret's play shows early Christianity in Rome, it foremost concentrates on the clash between the new religion and the Roman order being put in danger. LeRoy's movie, since based on Henryk Sienkiewicz's, focuses on the undeniable victory of Christianity. Marcus Vinicius (Robert Taylor) at first finds a new faith meaningless. He has reasonable arguments from the Roman point of view (what about slaves, conquest, enemy treating, etc). Yet GRADUALLY thanks to love for Lygia (Deborah Kerr) and the courageous faith of the martyrs, he shouts out with confidence "Christ, give him strength!" The story of Nero and "the imperial companions" is also much more developed. Yet, Nero (Peter Ustinov) is not only the one who heads for delicious debauchery but also wishes the crowd to have one throat that could be cut. He is an artist who burns Rome in order to create a song. He is a coward who blames the innocent for his own guilts. He is a cynic who collects tears in a weeping phial after the death of his "best friend" Petronius (Leo Genn). Finally, he is a lunatic who praises his "divine ego" and screams at his death seeing no future for Rome without him.

CAST: Anyone who has seen ancient epics must admit that most of them can boast great performances. Nevertheless, I believe that QUO VADIS is one of the top movies in this matter. Robert Taylor and Deborah Kerr are a gorgeous couple portraying a Roman leader and a Christian girl. Taylor naturally expresses a change of heart. Kerr appealingly portrays innocence, gentleness and true love. Leo Genn is excellent as Petronius, a man of art and elegance who is fed up with Nero's "secondary songs and meaningless poems." Peter Ustinov gives a fabulous performance as Nero combining all wicked features of his character. I also loved Patricia Laffan as lustful empress Poppaea with her two pet leopards. There is no milk bath of hers, she does not imitate Ms Colbert but Laffan's Poppaea is foremost a woman of sin, a woman of lust, and a woman of revenge. The Christians, except for a number of extras, are portrayed by very authentic-looking actors: Abraham Sofaer as Paul and Finlay Currie as Peter...not more to say than that they look identical to the old paintings.

SPECTACLE: The movie is a visually stunning epic that can be compared in its magnificence to BEN HUR (1959) and even GLADIATOR (2000). There are numerous breathtaking moments: arena scenes, lions, bull fighting, triumph in the streets, and foremost the fire of Rome. We see the real horror within the walls of the burning city. A moment that is also worth consideration is Vinicius hurrying to Rome on a chariot being chased by two other men. When he comes nearer, we see the red sky... The authenticity is increased by a lovely landscape of Cinecitta Studios near Rome where the film was shot. For the sake of spectacle, I went once to see QUO VADIS on a big screen in cinema and felt as if I watched a new film made with modern techniques. It was a wonderful experience.

All in all, I think that QUO VADIS by Mervyn LeRoy is a movie that has stood a test of time. Although it is 55 years old, it is still admired in many places of the world. It's one of these movies that are the treasures of my film gallery. Not only a colossal spectacle, not only great performances but a very profound historical content at which Henryk Sienkiewicz was best.

QUO VADIS DOMINE? Where are you going, Lord? These are the words that Peter asked Christ while leaving Rome. After the answer that Peter heard from his Lord, he turned back... in order to proclaim peace to the martyrs and to be crucified. Yet, where once stood decadent "Neropolis" now stands the Holy See where people yearly pilgrim to the tombs of the martyrs and where the blessing "Urbi et Orbi" is goes to all the corners of the world. Sienkiewicz writes about it in the touching final words of the novel. Yet, LeRoy changes it a bit in the film...

A small group of Christians who survived, including Lygia and Marcus, are on a journey. But after a short stop at the place where Peter met Christ, the journey seems to turn into a pilgrimage towards "the Way, the Truth and the Life"

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